ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
CANCER
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
FITNESS
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Sleep and Do Better
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
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Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- In a phase 3 clinical trial, an experimental immune-based treatment boosted by 20 percent the overall survival of those with tough-to-treat neuroblastoma, which affects mostly children.

The findings are to be presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting, which starts later this month in Florida.

The trial involved 226 patients newly diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system. Standard treatment includes surgery, aggressive chemotherapy with "stem cell rescue" (where the patient's stem cells are removed before treatment, then returned after chemotherapy to boost blood/immune function) and radiation therapy.

"Even though we treat it with aggressive therapy, high-risk neuroblastoma often returns, and most patients do not survive," Dr. Alice Yu, a professor of hematology/oncology at the University of California, San Diego, and the school's Moores Cancer Center, said in a news release from the society.

The new immune-based treatment -- called chimeric anti-GD2 antibody ch14.18 -- targets a key sugar-and-fat molecule lying on neuroblastoma cells called GD2. Left alone, the molecule inhibits the immune system from attacking the cancer cells. But the new antibody binds to GD2, encouraging such attacks, the researchers explained.

In the new trial, half of the patients received chemotherapy/stem cell rescue plus standard treatment (retinoic acid), as well as the new immunotherapy. The others received standard treatment only.

After two years, the number of participants who had survived without a relapse reached 66 percent in the immunotherapy groups, compared with 46 percent among those who did not get the new treatment. Overall survival after two years reached 86 percent in the immunotherapy cohort and 75 percent among those who got standard treatment.

"It is very exciting to have a new treatment option for this disease," Yu said, "and we hope to make this immunotherapy available to more children with neuroblastoma."

The study is to be presented June 2 at the meeting but was described in a news conference Thursday.

More information

The University of Chicago has more on neuroblastoma in children.



-- E.J. Mundell



SOURCE: American Society of Clinical Oncology, news release, May 14, 2009

Last Updated: May 15, 2009

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